Simple rule: any change in an appointment’s schedule means the appointment is cancelled and needs to be re-scheduled. But more importantly, it means any other client or activity has now permanently lost out. It’s the allotted time that’s valuable, not necessarily what’s done with it. Although, what’s done with your time always has consequences.
My time is far more valuable than the rate being charged for it, because I’ll never get that time back again.
A client is welcome to use their appointment with me in almost any way they see fit: tell jokes, talk on the phone or show me funny videos on YouTube (this has actually happened). They can even show up late or cancel the appointment altogether.
The client still gets charged for the full appointment, whether they use it or not.
In some industries charging for a cancelled appointment is called a kill fee. We all know that stuff comes up – even emergencies – and things need to be rescheduled. But the important distinction is this: all time is hugely valuable. And it’s the time-slot that’s billable, not the circumstances surrounding it.
Family and Friends:
You can’t let your time get wasted by family and friends. Do your best to limit your exposure to habitual time-wasters, late-arrivers and re-schedulers.
How could we respond to family and friends who show up late, cancel appointments or reschedule at the last minute? With compassion and clarity. What else could you be doing with your time?: reading/writing a book, answering a customer service call, designing a product, selling a service, starting/finishing a blog entry, volunteering, exercising, studying for school.
Since you can’t charge family & friends a time-evaporator kill fee – or maybe you can – here’s the next best move: invite them to participate in your activities instead of joining them for theirs. Also stress-relieving: allot only a certain amount of time per week and make it count.